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Old April 17th, 2012 #1
Dawn Cannon
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Dawn Cannon
Default The Origins of War in Child Abuse

I think the premise was that with correct child rearing methods applied, preliterate civilisations would become "just like us".

Child Abuse, Homicide and Raids in Tribes
Lloyd deMause

Since most infants were killed at birth and over half of male adults committed homicide, it is not surprising that deaths in raids, their version of wars, have been said to be minimal. Until recently, anthropologists promulgated the myth of the “peaceful savage,” until Keeley, LeBlanc and others actually demonstrated by voluminous evidence that both tribal societies today and early historical societies killed 10 to 30 times the proportion of people as even the most violent states in recent times. The archeological record is rich with evidence like the studies of Mesolithic hunter-gatherer burials that found over 40 percent of the men, women and children died violently. Plus Keeley found over 25 percent of adult males of unwesternized tribal societies died from raids, reaching over 60 percent for Amazonian tribes. Knauft estimated that murder accounted for the deaths of at least 35 percent of all New Guinea men and 29 percent of women. Despite anthropologists’ assertions that tribal violence is “adaptive” and that raids were fought for “scarce resources,” none of these deaths were over resources at all, all were solely emotional in origin, most of them being blamed on “sorcery” after imagining being insulted or humiliated. In fact, as we have previously noted, death inflicted by violence from others is always caused by the previous implantation of murderous “time bombs” in child abuse, and has declined from over 80 percent to under 2 percent even in the most bellicose nations in recent centuries as childrearing has slowly evolved. Homicide rates in New Guinea actually run sixty times the current U.S. rate. They are caused by the same “collapse of self-esteem” that Gilligan says U.S. murderers experience, where they “imagine themselves to be humiliated and shamed” as they routinely were as children.

Tribal cultures are, as we have earlier said, also often mislabled as “egalitarian.” What is being referred to is their deep lack of trust in each other, coming from terribly insecure childhood attachments, which produces such overwhelming fear of the group and of authorities that true chiefs cannot be found, only “Big Men” who may be more violent than others but who cannot be trusted and therefore are only mediators, not real leaders.68 Even large tribes often find they cannot trust leaders or designate internal peacekeepers. Since in tribes “the mother is an eternal threat to self-individuation,” men do not securely attach to them and so also cannot bond to other men as their delegates, except in useless symbolic rituals where they cut their veins and smear their [maternal menstrual] blood on each other to form “blood brotherhoods.” In New Guinea, “they execute prominent individuals who overstep their prerogatives [and] Australian aborigines traditionally eliminated aggressive men who tried to dominate them.” Even ownership was looked upon by tribes with disfavor: “Those who acquired too much were expected to either engage in gift-exchange or destroy their surplus in cleansing sacrificial ceremonies,” so investment in new economic enterprises was missing.

Bloody raids are conducted in tribes by small groups when men fuse with their inner Killer Mother alters, who becomes the death-dealing witch-goddess of the raids, the warriors saying they are “charged with the powerful destructive energy of menstruating women.” They fuse with their warrior alters by “leaving their former self behind and becoming something entirely different…The change usually accomplished through ritual drumming, dancing, fasting and sexual abstinence…into a new warriorlike mode of being, denoted by special body paint, masks and headdresses.” Borguignon found nearly all tribes had trance induction rituals that reproduced early trauma and gave them the “high” of dopamine infusion that led to violence. New Guinea war myths are often based on maternal infanticide themes, as when the Sambia myth says: “Numboolyu’s wife, Chenchi, killed her first male child [so] we now fight—war.” Raids are rituals that establish masculinity for a time while being fused with the Killer Mother, as men go into their cult houses “like underneath the skirts of their mother,” replicate childbirth in rituals by male initiators called “mothers,” and go out to kill others in order to re-enact the killings and tortures of their childhoods.

Most tribes engage in extensive raids at least once every two years. New Guinea tribes sometimes have dozens of raids a year. Raids since the Paleolithic have been seen as being conducted when possessed by “a mother-animal, the mistress of the dead, an old woman,” a Killer Mother alter. When warriors went out on their purifying headhunting raids, they switched into their killing alters by a “special magic, which placed the fighters in a trance-like state of dissociation in which they became capable of extreme, indiscriminate violence [which] made them capable of killing even their own wives and children.” Among the Hua, “it is feared that if a person fails to eat the corpse of his or her same-sex parent, that person will become stunted and weak.” New Guinea men often conduct all-night rituals where they are possessed by “spirit women” who tell them which of the many witches that surround them they should now kill. Warriors become fused with the powerful mother that masturbated them during menstruation; they then decorate themselves with menstrual blood-red paint so they can appropriate the fearful power of their Killer Mothers.

Alters are often projected into the heads of the enemy, so head-hunting was endemic in New Guinea, “leading to endless intertribal feuds, and the slightest pretext is seized upon to begin a war to obtain the coveted trophies.” Chop off a head and you can capture the power of the Killer Mother. They believe they can restore their masculinity by eating the head or penis of an enemy “to absorb his strength.” New Guinea sorcerers continuously call upon their tribes to slaughter others. Knauft found two-thirds of a sample of Gebusi men had committed homicide. As Kelly puts it: “It is clear that homicide rates are considerably higher in simple foraging societies than in some sedentary agricultural societies with more developed forms of sociopolitical organization. In New Guinea, imaginary humiliations and magical sorcery attacks make immediate retribution necessary: “The assailants spring on their victim from ambush, brutally overpower him, jab poisons directly into his body, and sometimes twist or rip out organs.” Fathers help their small boys headhunt by holding his spear hand so he can kill and decapitate some acquaintance or relative. Little attempt is made to rationalize the homicides. “An angry man may attack or even kill another who is in no way related to the object or cause of his rage. This is true not only of violence against outsiders, but of violence within the village.”

Murderous raids are fought when “growth panic” becomes excessive, when new tasks such as building houses or expanding gardens threatens too much personal growth and after initiations when adolescents “grow up” and leave their mothers. As the Mae Enga tribe says: “When times are good, the men of the clan spoil for a fight.” The men designate Big Men who find a rationalization for fighting (Faked Provocation Phase), and the warriors go out to meet their opponents with massed chanting, insults and challenges. When no other clan can be found to raid, they raid their own clansmen. That those killed are Bad Selves is everywhere apparent. When tribal raiding parties meet women with babies, they usually kill only the male infants, that is, themselves. Prisoners are rarely taken. The easiest raids are burning random houses and axing the families as they try to escape. Victims’ heads and penises are taken as trophies, reincorporating their own “strong” body parts. Evidence of the defleshing and cannibalization of “enemies” goes back 750,000 years to the earliest tribes, and most tribes say they collect the skulls so they can absorb the fighting strength of their enemies. Indeed, “It is good to have enemies, because they are good to kill and eat.” Many warriors even take the name of the victim they eat.94 Both sides often give gifts to the other side after the raids are over. When all the killing and victim-eating is finished, “the Big Men of each side make speeches…listing the dead [and] set the scene for future exchanges…The victors may profit only in terms of glory…they have no right to invade and occupy the losers’ territory…everyone hurries home, satisfied that he has vindicated his honor.”

The early infanticidal childrearing mode of Austrian Aboriginals has been arguably the most abusive and neglectful of all tribal cultures. It is possible that the poor environment of the Australian desert is partially responsible for their lack of progress in childrearing, though New Guinea was nearly as stuck as they are in early infanticidal mode childrearing and they have had a far better environment than Australia. The origins of the very violent personalities of Aboriginals are, of course, in no way caused by genetic differences, only developmental. Thousands of Aboriginals have been removed from their parents and brought up by modern city parents and they turn out to have personalities indistinguishable from others in their adoptive families.

The custom of raping Aboriginal children, eating “every second child” and making the older children also eat them is termed “a quite favorable picture” by Roheim. Mothers regularly forced their children to eat their newborn siblings “in the belief that the strength of the first child would be doubled by such a procedure.” Sometimes the fetus would be “pulled out by the head, roasted and eaten by the mother and the children” and sometimes “a big boy would be killed by the father by being beaten on the head” and given to the mother to eat. Since most newborns in the Pacific area, from Hawaii to Tahiti, were murdered by their mothers, and since their siblings were forced to participate in the killings, all adults had Killer Mother alters implanted in their amygdalan fear networks which they were compelled to reenact. Hippler says Australian children “attacked infants unceasingly” while “the mother rarely intervenes…Children’s attacks become so common that one often hears adults saying ‘Don’t kill the baby.’ But no one interferes and the child is increasingly made subject to violence and stress.” He also says “children are abused by their mother and others…routinely brutally…jerked roughly, slapped or shaken…verbally abusive using epithets such as ‘you shit’ [frightened by] a dangerous world full of demons, though in reality the real dangers are from his caretakers…children are terrified to leave the presence of their mothers.” Fusion with the Killer Mother is guaranteed by all these practices, plus the mother’s choking the infant with her milk during nursing, the constant masturbation by mother of her children’s penis and vagina while she lies on top of them, twisting and pinching them as we saw was the practice in New Guinea.

The mutilation of young girls’ vaginas is also practiced by the Aboriginals, “in which old men roll emu feathers with a loop of hair. This device is put into the vagina and then removed, pulling away a large part of the womb. The rest of the womb is then cut horizontally and vertically with a stone knife. When this wound is healed, the girl is then circumcised and made to have intercourse with many young men. The mix of blood and semen is collected and given to frail tribesmen as a fortifying elixir.” Again, the fusion with the Killer Mother’s blood is imagined to increase the strength of the male who is uncertain of his masculinity. Males marry many wives and even rape their own daughters in order to fortify their masculinity, and fathers often have “boy-wives” to absorb some of their maleness. It is not surprising that with both boys and girls “almost their only, and certainly their supreme, game was coitus,” particularly “licking the vagina of girls” to increase their strength. Gang raping is constant among Aboriginals, as it is in all tribal cultures. Roheim calls the constant rape of Aboriginal children “far more ‘normal’ than the sexuality of the European male” since “their repression of sexuality need not be as deep as it is among Europeans.”

The initial ritual of Aboriginal boys is accomplished by throwing them into a trench called “The Old Woman” with a bull-roarer called “The Mother” (her womb), repeating their birth by going through a birth tunnel with an umbilical rope attached, being covered by “the menstrual blood that can cause you to die,” and then sub-incising them with “a slit made on the underside of his penis” that is said to create a powerful vagina. The men then have intercourse in the split on the underside of the penis, “like a split-open frankfurter.” Equipped with a vagina and with the powerful blood of the “Old Serpent Woman” who roams the desert in search of people to eat, warriors go out to kill anyone they can find, living “in dread of enemies” who are Killer Mother serpents, creating Faked Provocations of some fancied wrongs that might justify the killing, either individually or in small groups. Many Australian tribes ate their dead enemies, including their neighbors, though “not for the sake of food.” Australian Aborigines also “never neglect to massacre all strangers who fall into their power.” “Men, women and children are massacred indiscriminately.” A majority of adult men are killed by homicide and over a quarter are killed in warfare. These patterns have not changed in millennia: “fighting scenes are extensively depicted in Aboriginal rock art dating back at least 10,000 years.” When childrearing doesn’t change, economies and cultures do not change.

When one turns on television news and hears that a quarter million people have died in Darfur, Africa as Muslim military gangs attacked the south, the motivation for this carnage is usually attributed to their Communist ideologies . . . until one learns that what they actually did was chop off the penises of little boys and rape little girls, hardly the stated goal of materialist Communism. But if one knows that Darfur boys are routinely genitally mutilated and little girls both genitally mutilated and raped, as most Africans were, the motivation for the violence becomes more obviously a re-infliction of childhood traumas upon others. The mutilation of boys is “a practice that serves as a core rite of passage for young men,” sometimes removing all the skin from the penis, the chopping off of girls’ genitals is practiced upon “ninety percent of all women in Darfur,” and the rape of girls is common in Africa.1

The core of these abuses lies in the widespread African practice of mutilating the genitals of African girls, a sadistic sexual assault that is said to be sexually arousing to those who attend the ceremony. Mothers, not men, insist on chopping off their daughters’ genitals, producing “horrendous pain, massive bleeding and raging infection.” It currently is found in 28 African countries, affecting about 130 million women—in 89 percent of Sudanese women and in 97 percent of uneducated Egyptian families and 66 percent of Egyptian educated families. It began historically thousands of years ago before the nations became Muslim, so it is not caused by Islamic beliefs. “Girls tremble as they hear about the experiences of other girls…first there is fear, and then the appalling memory of the experience. Sme girls live with a phobia that one or the other parent will kill them.” Also, most African tribal mothers still kill at least one of their children, sometimes as a child sacrifice to the gods.

Most African tribes practice all the abusive and neglectful childrearing practices described above for New Guinea and Australian families. Infanticide of course is a routine practice in African tribes, as in tribal cultures around the world, with more girls than boys killed at birth. Even when food is easily available, African mothers are often described as giving them “a large share of cuffs and kicks, and not over-much food.” Overworked mothers rarely talk to or look at or praise or play with their children, hanging them as infants on trees. Girls are married off in their early teens to older men chosen by their parents, most mothers beat and cane their children from infancy, frighten them with dangerous spirits, abandon them because they believe them to be witches, and so on. Boys, too, are commonly raped by older men in much of Africa, both orally and anally—even boy wives are known—and fathers sell their boys to men for sex or to boy brothels. Boys are taught to hate their enemies, and because they are ambivalent about their masculinity to prepare for a life of fighting (anthropologists who report “peaceful” tribes like the San Bushmen have been disproven). In fact, many African tribes have been measured to have fifty times the homicide rate as modern nations, with the majority of males admitting to committing at least one homicide. As the !Kung explain it, they often go into alternate states (alters) when “the n/um lifts you in your belly and makes you tremble…you experience death, you give up who you are…you are reborn...the boy becomes a man, the man a hero.” and they go out and find someone to kill. Before violent outbursts, Africans are often possessed by their inner spirit selves, “indulging in filthy language and seized by a fit of rage punctuated by convulsions.” They feel they have lost their soul [arutam], and go out to kill others in raids to recover their soul—believing “if they fail to kill someone they would not be entitled to obtain new arutam souls and would die within weeks.” Their leader, often a full Chief, is seen as a super-powerful Killing Mother with whom to fuse. Raids are for the purpose of killing and “securing as many human heads as possible” (among headhunters like the Jivaro), but “no case could be found of war being pursued to seize territory.” Throughout African history, slavery was rife, and “three men could not be sent on a journey together for fear two of them may combine and sell the third…[in some tribes] any man falling into their hands is killed and eaten.” With the development of slavery, kingship and the early state, we move to the next chapter on “Child Abuse and War in Early States.”


child abuse, incest


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